Moving even further south

Super duper busy day.  After our 5:45 wake up, the boat started moving south away from Robb’s Reef, towards the furthest part to which the Kona Aggressor sails - near Miloli`i. 

Our first stop was Tubastrea Tunnel, where we did two dives.  The first dive was very nice - we headed out along coral fingers, through a tunnel and spied through a keyhole.

The water was a pleasant temperature, and there was a lot of sea life surrounding us.  In particular we saw the orange cup coral, a hairy yellow hermit crab, a spiny pufferfish, a red pipefish, and a gold lace nudibranch.  There was a plethora of butterflyfish around us as well.

On our second dive, we broke away from the group and headed out to the farthest part away from our initial dive, with the intent to track it back.  The current was strong!  It was definitely a lot of work.  We did find our first (and only thus far) honu of the trip, and we ran back across the (shy) spiny pufferfish.

From there we had our lunch served.  Sweet corn soup, followed by tuna sandwiches, Korean chicken, salad and pineapple cole slaw.  And lots of water for everyone!  After the work of the dive, it was time to eat.

Our third dive took place off of Miloli`i, at a site called Manuka Bay.  In fact, that was where dives 3-5 happened today!  This site is the furthest south that the Kona Aggressor II can sail.  Wayne and I had asked if we could go further south than usual, as we have not been past Honaunau, and the crew was willing. 

We descended on dive 3, and the water was fully two degrees colder than it had been this morning.  All that could go through my mind were a few swear words punctuated by the word cold.  We were in our 5 mils, and moving slowly.  I think my entire body was purple by the time we returned on board.

We changed into our 7 mil suits to go on the next dive.  As on the dive prior, we went exploring on our own, hitting the swim thrus and tunnels again.  Fish life was plentiful, and there were a lot of juveniles present.  It was quite a sight to see, and a happy sight indeed.

Dinner afterwards was superb.  We had a salad with toasted walnuts, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh mesclun leaves.  This was followed by filet mignon, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and french beans.  It was so good that I actually ate it before giving thought to taking a photograph!  In a wine reduction sauce, the beef was sublime. 

After dinner, it was time for a dry bathing suit and back into the 7 mil.  Into the depths of night we were headed.  The crowd tonight was small, only 4 of us, but it was a great dive.  We saw 2 giant eels (one of which was hunting successfully), 2 scorpionfish side by side, a gigantic lobster, a large yellow head moray, and a decoy scorpionfish.  We never found the dragon moray, but there’s always tomorrow morning, when we will have our fourth and final dive at Manuka Bay.

And now it is time to attempt to transfer over the dive log, finish up the blog, and get ready for the dawn dive tomorrow morning - 5 am wakeup time, and in the water by 6:10. 

Sweet dreams, all!